The Automotive X Prize follows the model of the Ansari X Prize for private space flight, offering a multi-million dollar purse—the exact amount not yet specified—to the teams that win a long-distance stage race for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent (MPGe) and meet specified emissions criteria.
The 30 plus teams include groups from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. More than 300 additional teams have inquired about joining.
The independent and technology-neutral AXP competition is open to teams from around the world to prove they can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent fuel economy vehicles that people want to buy. Industry experts will scrutinize team plans. Those that qualify will race their vehicles in cross-country stages that combine speed, distance, urban driving and overall performance. The winners will be the vehicles that exceed 100 MPG equivalent, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time.
The competition is expected to travel through multiple cities while broadcast to a global audience in 2009 and 2010. The organizers hope to build consumer demand for vehicles in the competition and demonstrate many practical, clean and affordable vehicle options. Cities involved in the competition route have not yet been chosen.
The AXP has received support and encouragement from several government agencies that will help the privately funded organization conduct the competition and test vehicle compliance, including the US Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory; the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway, Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHA); the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ); and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
In addition, non-governmental organizations supporting the AXP include the National Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, the Apollo Alliance, the Consumer Federation of America, Global Green USA, CALSTART and Greenpeace among others.
The AXP has recently finalized a supporting sponsorship from Adobe. Other early AXP sponsors and donors include Idealab, Ray Sidney of Big George Ventures, the Elbaz Foundation, and the Jack D. Hidary Foundation.
Once fundraising for the prize purse and administration is complete, the AXP will officially launch.
The following 31 teams have signed a letter of intent signaling their intent to apply for the AXP competition:
- Aptera Motors - California, USA
- Commuter Cars Corp. - Washington, USA
- Cornell University - New York, USA
- DEHyds - Washington, USA
- Delta Motorsport - Northants, UK
- Desert Fuel - Arizona, USA
- Disruptech - California, USA
- Dragonfly Technology LTD - Northhampton, UK
- Fuel Vapor Technologies - British Columbia, Can
- GreenIt! - Oregon, USA
- Herf Duo - Berlin, Germany
- HyKinesys - California, USA
- Kinetic Vehicles - Oregon, USA
- Kuttner Doran Inventions - Virginia, USA
- Loremo AG - Munich, Germany
- Maine Automotive X - Maine, USA
- MDI, Inc. & Zero Pollution Motors LLC - New York, USA
- Michigan Vision - Michigan, USA
- MotoTron Corporation - Wisconsin, USA
- Phoenix Motorcars - California, USA
- Prometheus Systems, LLC - Arizona, USA
- Porteon Electric Vehicles, Inc. - Oregon, USA
- Psycho-Active - Georgia, USA
- Roane Inventions - Texas, USA
- Society for Sustainable Mobility - California, USA
- Spirit One - Alberta, Canada
- Tesla Motors - California, USA
- Valentin Technologies - Wisconsin, USA
- Velozzi - California, USA
- X Tracer - Winterthur, Switzerland
- ZAP Motors - California, USA